August 5, 2014 is a very important date for those who need to adhere to a gluten-free diet. The FDA ruling on products that are labeled gluten-free will go into effect that day.
Am I thankful that something was finally done? Absolutely! Am I going to jump for joy?... Highly unlikely.
It seems some think that this labeling law means that everything that states "gluten-free" on the package will magically become safe. Others think that because they ruled that products must contain less than 20ppm gluten, that items with the words "gluten-free" on the label will suddenly contain 20ppm gluten.
The bottom line in my opinion is that those manufacturers who wanted to jump on the bandwagon with zero regard for whether or not their product is actually gluten-free will finally be held to a standard... if they're reported. The FDA has already stated that it would take several (they haven't stated how many "several" is) complaints about a product for them to pursue testing to determine if the product indeed contains gluten. I can only imagine how many people are going to "get sick" off a product and automatically report it without taking any other factors into account. This could easily take away time that could be spent checking into products that are actually labeled incorrectly, so it makes sense that it would take several complaints.
Best case scenario is manufacturers will become much more careful about ensuring they are being careful about the items they are labeling gluten-free. Worst case scenario...well, I hope there is no worst case scenario. Ultimately, this is a very good thing, and it should have been done a long time ago. Whether you agree with the way it was done or the parameters that were decided upon, etc, it's a step forward.